Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vanna- April 17th 1775

Dear Diary,
Oh, it's been so long.  So much has happened since I wrote in you last.  First of all, and most important, I'm home.  We were kicked off the ship and brought home by the captain, whom I thought was a man of good character.  He didn't just kick us off, he beat us.  He beat Jacob much worse than I, which in my eyes was not okay.  I would have taken any amount of swats and kicks to protect my brother.
Everyone was ecstatic to have us home.  But the excitement in the air died down quickly as Grandfather came down with something horrid.  He was in bed for weeks.  Sometimes in the middle of the night he'd muster up all his strength and walk downstairs in his sleep, but Father would just catch his arm and lead him right back to bed.  Eventually he started to feel better, a little at a time, and he's still healing.  We think he'll be alright.  We had a visit to the apothecary when it first started and the doctor had no idea what was going on.  Maybe it was just a virus of some sort?  I suppose we'll never know.
On a heavier note, I can feel that something is about to happen.  Something to do with the colonies, though I'm not sure what.  I'll try to keep you posted, diary.  I'll try.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

KAT- March 6, 1775

A sharp knock on the door at 5am threw me out of bed, startled. Last night me and Claire were gathering family memories in our old scrapbook that we've had for years. Our family was all about recording everything and anything even close to exciting that happened to us. I look back at the pages that Vanna and Jacob filled with drawings and pictures of our family they made. They were now tear stained and falling apart from the hard turns of the page, me and Vanna crying over them, and wishing that they were still here. I slipped my embroidered robe Grandmother made me and bolted downstairs, thinking this could be one of Newton's pranks(our bratty, sly next door neighbor). I opened the door to see a burly, tall man with two children in chains behind him. The two kids. Who were they? Was he coming after me? "Is this the home of Evangline and Jacob? The sailer wannabes?" He said. I've heard stories of drunken sailors. This man was the definition of one. He took a huge, sharp weapon and cut the chains viscously. I had a mini heart attack. The two unknown children turned around revealing Jacob...and VANNA!!!!! I had no time to reply as I threw myself into them, hugging them, crying like never before. The man grabbed me and threw me to the ground. Then he ran off. Just like that. I'll never know as long as I'll live why the man did that. I got back up and Vanna tried to chase after him, but Jacob stopped her. They were clearly beaten and bruised by the man, you could see evident scaring. They smelt horrid and looked like they haven't had a bathing in months. Claire and Grandpa rushed into the scene. Jacob and Vanna apologized for running off. They wanted to come back home. While Jacob was on ship duty, he got ahold of the steering wheel and was headed to the direction of our home. By the time the crew woke up, it was too late to head back. We were on our way. The man got mad at them and beat them heavily until they reached where they are now. He just dropped them off. I'm glad they're back. Here to stay. Vanna finished her story of adventures and trials reaching us, while Jacob started his. I'm glad they made it. Alive. Together.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Claire - January 25, 1775

My Dear Diary,
It has been a most bitter winter. Kat and I have been quite confined within the brick walls of the house, as it is too cold for us to go anywhere.  Snow and ice makes the out of doors most dangerous indeed, but Father will not close the store for anything. And although the two floors of the place are exceedingly difficult to heat, and business has been small, every morn I wake to find him gone, and every evening he returns, red in the face and frozen to the very bone.
Mercy and her Grandfather have resorted to living with us for a spell. Apparantly, the elderly gentleman is in such debt that he cannot aford  firewood and nor can he chop it. Furthermore, they are in such straits, that food cannot be afforded either. With Robert, Jacob, and now Vanna gone, we can most assuredly welcome others into our warm home, especially friends. Mercy has greatly eased the pain of Vanna's going with her arrival. Much of the emptiness these rooms have felt the past few weeks has been filled with our good neighbors love and cheer.

In the evenings, by the light of the sitting room fire, we comfort one another with the warmth of our conversation. There has been much to talk on . The events of 1774 and 1773, have caused such tension in our colonies. The unjust treatment we have received by King George III has caused much talk of independence. Something will happen, we know, for a Continental Congress has met in Philadelphia to discuss the plight of the colonies.

At times, I ask myself: "Why Claire, you, a good English born lass, how can you support the rebellious actions that have been occuring?"
But suprisingly, although Mother is gone, these colonies have become my home. I have grown to love this land and the prosperity it has provided us. I only hope that prosperity and security will continue, and that the impending war that people speak of will never come to pass. Oh! It makes my heart tremble for Robert, who will never back down from a fight if, and when it comes.
But I will not be afraid, for God is our protector, and besides which I'm a patriot. Not just any patriot. No, I am an American patriot, and I'm not afraid to fight for my liberty.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vanna- January 12, 1775

Dear Diary,

It's a new year, and that means new beginnings.  New beginnings for all of us.  Jacob and I landed in England the other day, and it is beautiful here!  Last time I was here, I was nine years old.  My last memory is stepping onto a boat, holding my mother's hand, and waving a teary goodbye to all of my friends.  Maybe I will see some of them during my stay here.  I have already seen one, but I shall talk about her a bit later.

Now I want to talk about the boatride here.  I haven't been able to write in this journal for quite some time, because I spent most of my waking hours on the top deck with Captain Jack Rhodes and Jacob.  Apparently my brother is one of the hardest workers.  Maybe he's just trying to impress Captain so he'll keep him longer.  But there's really no need for that, because I think he's planning on keeping him for as long as he can.
I am the only girl on the boat, so sometimes things get a bit tough for me.  I am given hard work, just like all the boys.  Many of the men and boys were very seasick, so they stayed below deck.  They, of course, could not work, so us young people above deck got all the hard work.

Now to talking about life here in England.  Jacob and I, along with a few other boys around our ages, are staying in a vacant, old schoolhouse.  It seems as though it used to be used for an etiquette class for young girls, which made me think of the gowns and books I used when Tatiana taught me and my sisters.  But I need to put all that stuff behind me.  Remove the beautiful dresses and hairdos, lovely meals and city delicacies, and fine furniture made of fine wood and even marble.  
I went out to see if the water pump outside our door would work today, and a group of giggling girls passed me.  I tried not to look when I heard one of them start whispering.  I could hear what she was saying.  Something about the oddity of a girl wearing breeches.  I finally did turn around when I felt a tap on my shoulder.  The same girl who I'd heard whispering met my face and her expression lit up like a candle.  "Evangeline Hillman!"  She exclaimedWell, that was quite unlady-like.  I thought, then remembered that I'm the girl wearing pants.  
The girl's name was Laurie Gerard and I think she shall be my girl best friend.  We used to take tea lessons together, but of course I will not take that up again!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Kat~ December 17, 1774

The reason why I haven't written to you diary in almost two months time is because I decided to run away, with my mare Jieny, of course. You see, with Vanna, Jacob, and even Robert gone, I became really weak without them. Father was sad, grandparents were sad, and Claire was very sad. I was destined to get the horse so I snuck out and ran miles and miles with her. I was begging one day in a large, busy city so I could find something to eat, but the next the food came to me. I was captured and brought to an orphanage in some strange city, where people treated me worse than I ever thought existed. My horse, Jieny, was lost and sickened....I think I'll never find her again. Well, you may be thinking why I didn't escape the orphanage immediately. The reason was that I was labeled "High Matainence Disobedient Child" so I had a woman on top of me at all times...her voice was like a cracking whip. But in a few days we got an indoor outhouse on the first floor. That's when I achieved sneaking out. Desperate to come home I went searching for my horse. I found her in the nearest stables...sickened. Few hours later she died. I was hyperventilating because I had no way to go home. I got very sick and had to walk myself to the nearest hospital. At night, after I got medicine, I escaped the hospital, not even knowing that I must pay. I found a horse outside and thought it was a stray because it had no saddle or markings. I quickly swung my self on top of the horse and ran the opposite way I came, not knowing this was the doctors horse. The next day I found a familiar face, it was our grandparents servant. He was galloping on a horse toward me yelling: WE FOUND HER!!!! KAT IS HERE!!! WE FOUND HER!!!! KAT IS HERE!!!! He said a search party has gone out looking for you and it has been one long, horrid, freezing week. Then I saw my Father who jumped off his horse right when he saw me and ran as fast as he could toward me, swung me off and hugged me so tight. We were all speechless. Then I realized just what I had run away from. I felt horrible on the inside and also very disgusting on the outside. We all galloped home and made it by night. The moment we arrived home I saw Claire looking out her window praying with a year streaked face, but when she saw me, she nearly had a seizure. Her eyeballs opened up so wide and ran down the stairs screaming. It was so sweet being home with my sister. Even if she was the only one left.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Claire~ October 25, 1774

Dear Diary,

When Vanna posed the question a few weeks ago, I felt that I was choking on my heart and that to breathe would be impossible. I had already been grieving the loss of my dear little brother, who had denied me my earnest wish, but when he came home from sea a second time I thought that perhaps he had reconsidered. But, alas! Vanna stepped silently into our room that night, and sat a moment rather unsure of herself before the words were on her lips.

"Jacob wants me to go with him," she blurted out, "to Europe. He wants me to become a sailor."

A million thoughts rushed themselves upon me. My sister? A sailor? I knew not what to say for what seemed an hour. It being the most unheard of statements, and I being entirely flabbergasted and distressed as to what to say, lest I lose her as well as Jacob, I appealed to her sensitive side, crying out in such a manner which I knew father would have thought opposed my more docile nature, "Oh, Vanna! Surely you won't go! You shan't consider it! You will go off and leave me, who has only been the best of sisters to you and to whom you have been the dearest of friends?"

From her sigh and then the burst of sobs, I knew that she desperately wanted to go.

"Oh, Claire, I wish I had never asked you!"

Then she fled the room, and my heart broke.

In our bedroom that night, sleep would not bring its sweet relief to my anxiety. I lay awake with my eyes shut, while Vanna tossed and turned. While my night was one of fear, her’s must have been one of struggle, struggle between conscience and excitement. Struggle between home and adventure. At daybreak, Vanna rose and departed. With my eyes half shut, I watched as she snatched up her journal and left. Jacob's ship had arrived with the rising sun, and with that new dawning, a new life awaited for them. For me, morning awoke when night should have been closing in.

Kat and I only have one thing to rejoice upon. Father came yesterday.

"I can't bear the separation any more, my dear." He said to me privately. He appeared to be so weary and a bit ill. "I can see it has taken a toll upon you. Surely it has upon me. I need my little girl to come and take care of us just as before, and I need to take care of you. I can only think that if I had been here maybe she wouldn't have gone..."

I wouldn't let him dwell on it. The sorrowful look on his face made me afraid, so I burst out instead in the joy of the prospect he had just proposed.

"Home! Oh, home!" I cried. "Father how happy you have just made me! To see our house again, and our dear city! Yet, it is only special because you will be there."

Kat heard and cried because she was so happy. It was good to see her joyful again. All she has talked of for the past day has been her mare, who is waiting in Williamsburg for her mistress to come home.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vanna- October 9th 1774

'Tis been a while, but so much has been going on lately and life has been bitter.
But something not-so-bitter has happened.
Almost two months ago, my sisters and I were sitting in the parlor, sharing stories and having a marvelous time.  The maid walked in, and turned around, displaying a dirty-blond boy, who was about 5'6, with a big smudge of dirt smeared on his cheek and the stench of sickness, rotting food, and the ocean lurking on his clothes, which were ripped and tattered, revealing his chest and left thigh.  Without even thinking about it, I knew who it was.
"Jacob!"  I leaped out of my seat on the sofa and folded him into a hug.  He hugged back, tight as ever.  As Claire and Kat also hugged him and peppered him with questions, he beamed and grinned, as if he'd been on the greatest adventure of anyone's life.  His voice never even hinted at sarcasm and always held it's sincere tone that clearly spoke 'I had fun on the ocean, but it's time to be home now'.  But his own mouth said something different a few hours later.
The night before he left, I was sitting underneath Franklin Smith's big apple tree.  (Mr. Smith is Grandmother and Grandfather's grumpy old neighbor, who's always yelling and complaining.)  I was daydreaming, and Jacob broke my vision of him getting on a boat and waving goodbye with a big joyful grin on his face by sneaking up and hoarsely whispering "Boo!"  I almost shrieked until I remembered where I was.
I grabbed his hand and shushed him as he started to laugh in his trademark howl.  He looked at me and smiled.  "I'm glad to be here with you girls."  He murmured softly.  "You've said that many times."  I felt hot tears rolling down my cheeks as I said that.  Soon I found myself with my face buried into his nice shirt that just didn't smell right.  It doesn't smell like Mother's homemade soap.  I almost said that aloud, but didn't want to make Jacob upset also.  I watched him use his almost-sickly, bony fingers to push a few strands of shaggy hair out of his eyes.  It always fell that way, and Mother would always make him push it back.  It was worse the past few days because it looked as if he hadn't cut his hair in months.  Which he probably hadn't.
"Don't cry."  His voice sounded wobbly.  "C'mon, sis.  You'll make me start crying."  I raised my head and looked into his eyes.  They had little sparkles that seemed to dance when he was grinning from ear-to-ear, which is what he was doing now.  I smiled back, feeling a little uneasy as he kept looking at me.  
"Is something wrong, do I look funny?"  I inquired.  He shook his head, flinging his hair across his forehead.  "I just . . . well, I told Claire I'd stay."  "Well, are you going to?"  A sullen look fell over his face.  "I lied.  She told me that everyone is horribly disappointed in my actions.  I apologized and told her I wouldn't go back, but I must.  What will she say?"  I looked at my shoes for a few moments, as Jacob held his breath, waiting.  
"She'll be angry . . . but she will have to learn she's not our mother sooner or later.  She'll get over it eventually, I'm guessing.  She must."  He gave me an agreeing nod, took my hand and made me stand up.  "Back to the house?"  He asked.  I nodded and we ran across the lawn softly.
He waited until another ship came around a few weeks later, collecting young boys.  Then he left.  He sneaked out one night.  I heard him softly close the front door, then I watched him run off into the dark city streets towards the harbor through the window.  Claire found out the next day when she went searching for him to bring him in for breakfast, and was irate when she realized he'd lied to her.  She's been sulking since.

I prayed for him fervently after he left.  His thirteenth birthday passed and we even celebrated, without him there.  It was just yesterday that he came back, and left me with a big decision to make.
We were sitting under Mr. Smith's big apple tree in the dark again, and I, looking into the stars so I woudln't cry this time, whispered, "I will miss you, brother."  He looked at me and smiled.  "You know what?"  His sparkly eyes danced with excitement.  I pleaded to him with my eyes to tell me.  "We've been looking for a girl crew member, and they want a young teenager, and . . . well, I was thinkin' you could come with me."  I stared at him in shock for a moment.  Go with him?    What would my sisters think?  And Robert.  OH, Robert would scold me harder then ever before!  But I'd be out on the sea . . . and he wouldn't find me.  Jacob and I would be back in England; that's where the ship is going next, right?  All of those confusing thoughts swirled in my head, and Jacob must have noticed, because he put his arm around me and whispered, "Think about it.  You have until the morning after tomorrow, that's when we leave.  Europe, here we come!"  It suddenly became very cold outside.  I started shivering and Jacob held me tighter.
So tonight, I asked Claire what she thought of me leaving.  I don't think I should have told her.  I asked Kat, and she told me that Father was already upset enough that one child left, and he'd surely become sickly and frail if another one did, too.  She swore she'd never go, even if her life depended on it.
I'm going to ask Claire again in a few minutes.  I wonder what she will say?
Diary, I think I am going.